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Ofridstid: Fäders våld, staten och den separerande familjen
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (forskargruppen för intersektionella studier)
2016 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Times of Trouble : Fathers' violence, the state and the separating family (English)
Abstract [en]

The present thesis explores intersectional and institutional conditions for counteracting domestic violence in the Swedish welfare state. Empirically, the study focuses on professional discourses and practices concerning fathers’ violence against mothers and children in the context of separation, in three domains of practice: 1) Children’s education; 2) Disputes concerning custody, contact and residence; and 3) Welfare benefits such as financial aid. Theoretically, the study draws on feminist political theory and sociology, childhood studies and critical race studies. The empirical material consists of court orders and interviews with staff and victimised mothers. Two main social processes that undermine implementation of children’s rights are identified and discussed: Familialisation and selective repression. The thesis is based on four articles:

Article I, (Skolan, familjerätten och barnen) School, family law and children exposed to violence, explores how staff at school and preschool understands their professional task, when in encounters with children in difficulties due to family law proceedings. The results suggest that two competing perspectives shape staff understandings of risks, solutions and violence. When arguing from the child’s rights’ perspective, the staff prioritises children’s safety and participation, while an upbringing perspective tends to construct violence mainly as a problem of order, with disquieting implications for vulnerable children.

Article II, (Pedagoger i det sociala uppdragets gränstrakter: Att hantera familjerättsliga processer, hot och våld)Pedagogues in the borderland of their social task: Dealing with family law proceedings, threats and violence, investigates strategies used by preschool and school staff, when encountering gendered conflicts and violence between parents. How do the staff cope with their own and children’s vulnerability? An analytical model of six types of proactive and reactive strategies, ranging from keeping distance to normalisation of own vulnerability, is utilised in the analysis and discussed in relation to organisational and professional circumstances and intersecting social relations of inequality.

Article III, Contact and evaluations of violence: An intersectional analysis of Swedish court orders, examines obstacles to implementation of children’s rights in contested parental contact cases in which there are indications of violence. The analysis shows that the contact presumption is strong, and generally overrides protection. This norm applies even where there are convictions or explicit reports of child abuse or domestic violence. In cases with ‘non-Nordic’ fathers however, the contact presumption is less likely to override protection than in cases with ‘Nordic’ fathers.

Article IV, Financial oppression and post-separation child positions in Sweden, deals with post-separation child positions in two domains of practice in the Swedish welfare state: Welfare benefits such as financial aid, and child contact. The area of concern is financial oppression in the context of parental separation. Findings suggest that financial abuse in the context of parental separation is a non-question in the domain of welfare benefits, and in the domain of child contact framed as a conflict between equal parties. The age order as a form of domination may be reinforced by the practice of both domains.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. , 109 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 123
Keyword [en]
family law, domestic violence, financial abuse, separations, children’s rights, childhood studies, intersectionality, feminist theory, gender, race, racialisation, welfare state, social policy
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-268678ISBN: 978-91-554-9438-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-268678DiVA: diva2:878656
Public defence
2016-02-12, Geijersalen, Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3H, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-01-22 Created: 2015-12-09 Last updated: 2016-02-12
List of papers
1. Skolan, familjerätten och barnen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Skolan, familjerätten och barnen
2011 (Swedish)In: Utbildning och Demokrati, ISSN 1102-6472, E-ISSN 2001-7316, Vol. 20, no 2, 73-92 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The intersection between family law proceedings and the school system is a neglected area of research. Based upon a qualitative interview study involving 22 informants, this article explores how staff at school and preschool understands their professional task, when in encounters with children in difficulties in the context of family law proceedings. Which are the implications of these understandings of professionalism, for children exposed to violence? Further, the article explores the relations between established perspectives in the school domain and discourses dominating the immediate domain of family law. The results suggest that two competing perspectives shape understandings of risks, solutions and violence in dissimilar ways. When arguing from the child’s rights’ perspective, the staff prioritizes children’s safety and participation, while an upbringing perspective tends to understand violence mainly as a problem of order, with disquieting implications for vulnerable children.

Keyword
school, family law, education, the rights of the child, domestic violence, skola, familjerätt, utbildning, barns rättigheter, våld i nära relationer
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Sociology; Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-199782 (URN)
Funder
FAS, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research
Available from: 2013-05-14 Created: 2013-05-14 Last updated: 2017-12-06
2. Pedagoger i det sociala uppdragets gränstrakter: Att hantera familjerättsliga processer, hot och våld
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pedagoger i det sociala uppdragets gränstrakter: Att hantera familjerättsliga processer, hot och våld
2012 (Swedish)In: Sociologisk forskning, ISSN 0038-0342, Vol. 49, no 3, 189-210 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Drawing upon an explorative study of family law proceedings from a school perspective, the aim of this paper is to examine the school staff's strategies for solving or coping with problematic situations in this context. Gendered conflicts between adults and violence are extreme cases for pedagogues in school and preschool. How do staff cope with their own and the children's vulnerability? Based upopn interviews with 22 informants, the staff strategies are outlined and discussed in relation to organizational and professional circumstances and intersecting social relations of power.  An analytical construction of six types of strategies, ranging from distance keeping to normalization of own exposure, is utilized in the analysis. Findings suggests that the staff's strategies to handle challenging events in this context vary with the parent's gender, class position and ethnicity. Further, it is argued that creating a sense of safety and promoting learning among the children may be obstructed by lack of support from the school's organization, demands on staff to perform customer oriented attitudes towards parents and lack of clarity concerning the limits of the social task. In conclusion, a further aim of this article is to contribute to broader discussions on men's violence against women and children - in families as well as in workplaces and in the intersection between these two areas.

Keyword
school, family law, domestic violence, profession, skola, familjerätt, våld i nära relationer, våld i arbetslivet, profession
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-200149 (URN)
Projects
Familjerättsliga processer och beslut i ett skolperspektiv
Funder
FAS, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research
Available from: 2013-05-21 Created: 2013-05-21 Last updated: 2017-12-06
3. Contact and Evaluations of Violence: An Intersectional Analysis of Swedish Court Orders
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contact and Evaluations of Violence: An Intersectional Analysis of Swedish Court Orders
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, ISSN 1360-9939, E-ISSN 1464-3707, Vol. 29, no 2, 167-182 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What are the impacts of age, ethnicity, and gender on ensuring children's rights to participation and protection in disputed contact cases in which there are indications of violence? Drawing from a review of all contested contact cases from three primary courts in Sweden during 2010 and 2011, findings suggest that the contact presumption is strong, and generally overrides protection. This norm applies even where there are convictions or explicit reports of child abuse or domestic violence. Priority was neither given to consideration of risk of abuse, nor was a view of children as competent subjects with a right to participation in these proceedings, despite both of these concepts being present in Swedish family law. In cases with 'non-Nordic' fathers however, the contact presumption is less likely to override protection than in cases with 'Nordic' fathers. Intersections of adult, male, and white privileges appear as an obstacle for ensuring children's rights.

National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-258738 (URN)10.1093/lawfam/ebv002 (DOI)000356894400003 ()
Available from: 2015-07-21 Created: 2015-07-20 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
4. Financial oppression and post-separation child positions in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Financial oppression and post-separation child positions in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present paper deals with post-separation child positions in two domains of practice in the Swedish welfare state: welfare benefits such as financial aid, and child contact. The area of concern is financial oppression in the context of parental separation. Empirically, the study draws upon three types of material: interviews with victimised mothers, court orders in welfare benefit appeals and court orders in contested contact cases. Findings suggest that financial abuse in the context of parental separation is a non-question in the domain of welfare benefits, and in the domain of child contact framed as a conflict between equal parties. Object without voice and with needs ignored was the typical child position in welfare benefits cases, whereas incompetent subject was more prominent in child contact cases. Age order as a form of domination may be reinforced by the practice of both domains.

Keyword
financial abuse, children, domestic violence, financial aid, contact
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-268670 (URN)
Projects
Ekonomisk kontroll, exploatering och deprivering i familjen. En teoretiskt och empiriskt explorativ studie av ekonomisk maktutövning i familjen
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2015-12-09 Created: 2015-12-09 Last updated: 2016-01-22

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